Today, the Republican-controlled Senate approved, in a 84-8 vote, $4.6 billion in emergency aid for the southern border.
The Senate rejected a House version approved Tuesday in a 37-55 vote that regulated spending at squalid detention centers and included “guardrails” to choke funds for immigration enforcement.
The House bill is a “go-nowhere proposal filled with poison pill riders which the president has indicated he would veto,” Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said.
“The House has not made much progress toward actually making a law, just more resistance theater,” McConnell said. “The Senate has a better and more bipartisan way forward…No poison bills, just a clean bill.”
This surge of urgency follows officials’ statements that funds for migrant housing and care would run out by the end of the month. The tragic image of a migrant father and daughter drowned while pursuing asylum has also caused outrage.
The new bills tangibly reveal the striking difference in Democrat and Republican priorities. The House bill did not include funds for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention beds or enforcement assistance from the Pentagon to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The Senate, however, included ICE funding and DHS support.
McConnell called House Democrats on Tuesday “consistently uncooperative and uninterested in anything except political posturing.”
“There’s some improvements that we think can be reconciled,” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday.
The Democrat-controlled House can push to pass its bill or compromise with the Senate in a conference committee. If neither is accomplished, the humanitarian crisis will again be left waiting until after Congress’ week-long July 4th recess.